“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Nabisco....Please Send Ritz Crackers!

Each and every time the pigs hear one of us in the vicinity,
they run to this corner of their yard.


It's become their favorite place...
and where you can find them just about any time... rain or shine.


It's the SNACK CORNER!!


I installed this metal mailbox on top of the fence post
and keep it filled with Ritz crackers at all times.
(Nabisco loves us... and they don't even know it!)


"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night
keeps these porcine princesses from their appointed snacks!"


Ginger and MaryAnn love their snacks....
more so than any other animal on the farm.
Pigs, you see, lack the ability to ever feel satiated.
They are, in essence, always hungry.
Luckily these two are herbivores and are content to munch on grass and hay.
But snacks....
oh those wonderful Ritz crackers....
are oh, so yummy!!
(And no "no-frills" imitation will satisfy these girls!)

Just see.....

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Will You?

"Will you, oh, will you....
pleathe be our Valentine?"
(said with a mouth full of hay!)


We've got so much love to share...


and we'd love to share it with YOU! 
Just so you know...
all love comes with a healthy dose of mud!


Happy Valentine's Day from all of us romantics here on the farm.

Yesterday I ran to our little local meat stand to pick up something
that I did not already have in the freezer.
(You might remember the last time I went...
I captured those photos of the Short Eared Owl that I saw along the way.)
This time, in that very same field, I spied something on the ground...
way in the distance...


Luckily I had my zoom lens on my camera...


What a handsome guy.


We often see bald eagles along our river...
but only occasionally will we see one hunting in the fields.

Yesterday while collecting eggs,
I noticed a small white one amongst the usual brown and occasional green.


White ones are quite rare, as I have only one chicken who lays white eggs.
Minnie Pearl is a black and gold Polish crested chicken who is 8 years old.


On rare days she pops out a little white egg for me.
Thanks, Minnie!!  You go girl!

And finally, I finished my last cowl (for now)...and it's my favorite yet.
I added a thin strand...

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What Month Is It, Anyway?

Another glorious day was given to us yesterday.
Temperatures reached around 60 degrees in the afternoon...
making outside work delightful.
This was our beautiful little valley as the sun rose...


I worked on de(con)structing our vegetable garden.
It's kind of sad, after these last few years of wonderful garden harvests,
to say goodbye to the present garden.


The upside of all this tearing down is the fact that there is a new garden in the works.
By planting time we will have new garden boxes in a new configuration.
Oh what garden fun I will have this Spring!

I also gave the grape arbor a rather severe haircut.
I removed two whole gator loads of excess vine.
Let's hope this warm weather does not force the vines to put out buds too early!
I also worry about our fruit trees for the same reason.


As usual, while I toiled...
the animals enjoyed the sunshine and napped.


Everyone napped.


And napped.


And napped.
He's such an angel...when he sleeps!


Even my sidekick, Sam, took a snooze...


while sitting in the gator.


After months of grey, chilly days,
a sunny day is heavenly...
even to the animals!


I have to admit...
I am just a little jealous!


It looks like more of the same for today!

PS:  that huge egg I showed you...

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A February Gift

Oh my goodness!
What a splendid weekend we had...
with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the upper 60's.


We basked in the warmth of the sunlight.
What a gift to receive in the middle of February...
and it is supposed to remain in the 50's (plus) through the coming week.


It finally dried out enough for the horses to spend the morning in the upper pasture.


When we designed the fences for the upper pasture, we divided the space
into four equal pastures.... four squares within one large square.


Each contiguous pasture can be connected to it's neighboring pasture,
by opening two gates and chaining them to the fence across from them.


This enables us to turn the four pastures into one large pasture.


Yesterday we opened two of the pastures and allowed the horses access to both.


Amazingly, as soon as we let them go in the pasture,
they headed straight for the opening into the neighboring pasture.
I swear the first thing they do upon entering any given pasture is
to make a perimeter check to see if any of the gates have been left open.


"FREEDOM!!!".... I am sure is what goes through their crazy horse brains!
It was obvious they were happy to have their space enlarged, 
because they ran and...

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All We Need Is Love

Have you had a chance to look at the evening sky this winter?
Have you noticed how bright Venus is in the early evening hours?
It's bigger and brighter than I have ever noticed.


I think it's a sign.
I think Venus (the Goddess of Love) is telling us we need more love.
With the world's turmoil, I am inclined to agree!

And so... in order to spread a little love around
(and believe me we have plenty of it to spread)...
I am dedicating this post to my two special love muffins...
the porcine princesses!


When I was a little girl...
if anyone had asked me what animal I desired more than any...
I would have replied, "A pig!"


If only I had known in those days that someday my dream would actually come true...
I would have wished for nothing else in life and would just have been content in the knowledge
that piggie love would eventually be mine!

And the wonderful thing is...
I can share that piggie love with you!


So here you are....
a little look back at the lives of Ginger and MaryAnn...


It's hard to believe they were ever this small....
the size of a kitten when we brought them home.



Oh my, and then there was Tyler...also small!!


Our sweet Maddie (no longer with us) was the consummate babysitter.


Walking with a...

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Wrestling Match

The pictures for this post were taken over the span of an hour
as I cleaned the front pasture yesterday afternoon.
You'll notice that the weather pattern is quite erratic...
snow one moment, sunshine another.


That's pretty much the way it has been around here lately.
It's as if Winter and Spring have been involved in a wrestling match...
each gaining control a day or two at a time.


By this weekend it is to be back up into the high 50's...continuing on into next week.
And yet...we still have a little snow on the ground.
It's been a weird winter.

Nonetheless, the chores go on...
no matter the weather.

As I drove the gator around the pasture, Sammy rode shotgun.


He stayed in that seat for a whole hour...
I presume he was too tired to walk.


Yup.  Exhausted!


Oakley, my old man has quite the developed olfactory sense
and like a pig hunts for truffles, he moves about through the pasture...
nose to the ground...


sniffing out piles of manure.


And with a discriminating palate, he taste-tests them as well.
Blech!

Annie, as always, keeps watch over the pasture.
You never know when a bunny or squirrel will enter the territory and need to be chased.


After a morning of pasture exercise, the horses are taking their...

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How 'Bout Dem Bears!

Week one of Fat Camp has begun.
And I've got to say, the girls are not too happy about it!


We have hauled out all of the tools in our tool chest to make a concerted effort
to get these girls a little more slender.

Grazing muzzles are on when they go out to pasture.
They end up just wandering around the pasture most of the time...
trying to make me feel guilty.


Meals (hay) are being served in this "slow-feeding" mesh bag.


The girls really have to work at getting the hay out of the mesh holes.
This slows down their eating (which in the long run is better for digestion)...
breakfast last all morning and part of the early afternoon.


To make matters even worse for the girls,
I am soaking their hay overnight in this tub.


Soaking the hay helps to remove the soluble carbohydrates (sugars)
from the hay.... turning it into "diet" hay.
Blech!

I am hoping that this regimen will result in a slow and steady weight loss over the coming months.


I am happy to report that we have been working on leading daily.
Daphne now walks beautifully on lead.
Chloe... is starting to get the hang of it.... one foot in front of the other.
Slow, steady, gentle forward pressure on the halter and lead rope...
rewarding each positive...

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What To Do With a Tiny Triangular Space

When we designed our log home,
we tried to keep a similar footprint as the home that was previously there.


That home had a garage that was detached from the house
and at a 45 degree angle to the house.


Our log home incorporates that oddly shaped space that used to lie
between the house and garage...
and in this triangular space is our kitchen, pantry, laundry room,
and a small bathroom.


Our kitchen is an odd shape....sort of a trapezoid.
The pantry is a trapezoid.
The laundry room is a rectangle.
And the space left over that we turned into a bathroom is a triangle.


Try fitting a sink and toilet into a small triangle.
It's a bit of a challenge.
Not wanting to waste any precious space, we rose to the challenge
and had a cabinet and countertop custom built to fit into a triangular corner.


We had a small wall built across the top angle of the triangle
and placed the toilet there.

Did you really want to know everything there is to know about our tiny bathroom?
Probably not.
But, it serves as an introduction to explain why these photos show such a wonky space.

The reason for the photos?
This rug.


I just finished this rug from...
the last of the core spun wool from Grace, Hope and Faith....
a forever keepsake...

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Baby Steps

Most mornings of late, while the horses are in the upper pastures,
I open the gate to the front pasture for the donkeys.
There is not much nutrition in the pasture... which is good.
You might have noticed that my donkeys are fat...too fat!
They get a little hay, and then plenty of time to forage for not-much-of-anything.


Pasture time is more of a diversion for them...
something to occupy their time.


Calling them back in is a piece of cake.
I simply place their vitamin/mineral supplement in their feeders and place them on the fence.


As soon as they hear that...
they start walking back to the dry lot.


The interesting thing, though, is this:
if I sit outside the gate, they will come and visit with me and completely ignore their food.


You see, although these girls are food-motivated...
it is just to a point.
They are more affection-motivated than anything.


Given the same scenario with the horses...
and they will run right past me to the food...
every time.


Donkey affections run deep.
It takes them a good while to develop these affections.
The process progresses from curiosity and distrust...
 to curiosity and tentative trust...
to eventual trust...
to affection...
to deep, everlasting affection.
The price...

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Satisfaction

There are two times in every day that I feel an immense sense of satisfaction.
The first one occurs quite early...
while feeding and watering all of the precious souls who count on me.


The second is right after everyone is fed for the last time in the evening,
and tucked in for the night.
I always have such a sense of peace as I return home
knowing that everyone is happy and healthy.


It's a little like it was when my kids were kids.

You know how it feels...
when they were little...
after baths were given and stories read...
tucked safely into bed...
the kitchen cleaned up from dinner and the toys picked up from the day...
that sense of satisfaction that you feel as your head hits the pillow...
right before becoming comatose.


And then as teenagers...
when they are finally home for the night and tucked safe and sound in their beds...
and you know that everyone made it safely through another day.

That sort of satisfaction (and sometimes exhaustion)!

The photos for this post were from yesterday's sunrise.
When I reached the barn, the sky looked like this...
just a few embers glowing on the horizon.


I was glad I had my camera, because it very quickly progressed...


and just as quickly was gone.
Spectacular.

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What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday I showed you our old hen, Minnie Pearl, after she had been out in Wednesday's storms.


Here she is in yesterday's wind...


Much better!


Do you see the white feathers on top of her head?
That's the chicken version of going grey.
She didn't have those feathers when she was younger... they were all gold and black.
She's our oldest hen... 8 years old and still laying an occasional egg.
She's my inspiration!


Yesterday was Hubbs' birthday and a day off work to celebrate.
We took the dogs for a hike.


The turkey boys followed.


And followed.


And followed.


For about a quarter mile.


By the time we reached the outdoor arena, they lost their steam.



After traipsing through the woods...


we returned to the arena to see if the turkeys were waiting for us there.


Luckily, they had the sense to find their way home again
and were resting there when we returned.


Since the bear activity of late, we decided to check a few of the game cameras.
Sadly, there were no bear pictures.
There were, however, lots of deer...



and the usual running fox!



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Stormy Weather

Though some of us had the good sense to stay inside,
it seems others were undaunted by yesterday's heavy rains and thunderstorms.


And some even embraced the weather by rolling in the newly formed mud.


Have you ever?
And to think I spent so much time grooming this boy last week!
Someone asked how often I groom the horses.


They get a good grooming every 8 weeks and in between as needed...
(If they were ridden, they would be groomed much more often.)
looks like that will be as soon as the rain is over.
I fear there is mud the whole way down to the skin.


Yesterday's storms gave me time to mail off the first shipment of chickens and mice...
and to make another flock.
(You can find them in the market at the top of the blog.)

PS....Happy Birthday Hubbs...
may all of your dreams come true!
(This man always supports my schemes and dreams.
I'd bring him the moon if I could!)

PPS....Moggie...there is a mouse waiting for you... I need you to email your address to me.

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My Girls

I truly adore all of our animals here on the farm.
They are all a part of my family.
However, if you pinned me down and made me pick a single favorite...
I suppose I would have to be truthful and tell you that
there is a special place in my heart for MaryAnn.


Our two Kunekune pigs have been a joy to have on the farm.
They are beyond friendly and practice very good manners when they are with their
human friends.
(They sometimes bicker between themselves when food is involved...
but it is never anything serious.)


MaryAnn has a special grunt that she uses when she is especially happy to see me...
it's faster and higher pitched than her normal grunts...
and sometimes almost frenzied.
One of these days I will catch it on a video.

It's great to have an relationship based on trust and affection...
it makes caring for her so much easier.


If I am in her yard with her, she lies on her side asking for a belly rub...
and I oblige.
It's during these times that I can do just about anything else I need to do to her.


I clean the exudate out of the corner of her eye (eye boogers)...



check her teeth and mouth..
trim her hooves when needed...


and clean the dirt from the top of her nose


(pigs use their noses like a...

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Today's Adventure

Hello, from the land of beautiful sunrises.
Yesterday's was spectacular!


Isn't that amazing?
And these photos are not edited... this is how it actually looked!
Aren't we so very lucky to live in such an incredible world.


It's a perfectly perfect world... it's just we humans that need a little work!


All we can do is rise each morning and do the very best we can do...
staying ever thankful for all that we have been given.


And what an amazing backdrop for morning chores this was.
I wish you could have been here.

Day one of Fat Camp was quite successful.
The girls did not mind their wet breakfast.
They spent the rest of the morning hiking around the front pasture...
wearing their new matching accessories.


Pink, of course!
And yes, of course I feel guilty.
You might notice that Daphne (on the right) is wider than Chloe.
Unfortunately, this is genetic.  Her mother had the same body type.
But still, we are aiming for a little more slender version of this.


For those who think that country life might be boring at times...
I assure you... my days are filled with adventure. 
For instance...



Yesterday was laundry, ironing, and vacuuming day.
Between loads, I sat at the sewing machine and made these two little...

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Electricity... A Blogging Necessity!

I missed our chat yesterday!
Unfortunately, a wind storm knocked us back into the 19th century for several hours
and I was unable to use our computer.


Heading out to check on everyone yesterday morning,
I found this scene.


This tree came down across our driveway but was not the reason for the power outage.
One of our neighbor's trees fell and took the power line down with it.
Our tree?  Just a nuisance.


Luckily I could fit the gator between the tree and the woods...
making morning chores so much easier!


The rest of the day was sunny and temperate, but the winds persisted...
just not as severe as the previous day.



We've had the weirdest weather this month... which is typical for March.
We've had rain and snow and warm temperatures (and that's just been within the past week!)
Apparently we are headed for more snow as our temps drop sharply beginning today.


(April is looking pretty good to me right now!)
No matter the weather, I know that Spring is just around the corner.
I hear it every morning in the bluebirds' songs.


I am still stuck in that slower part of the year...
still too early to garden or do yard work 
(except winter clean up.)


By the way... the garden boxes should be finished...

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Why?

"Why?"
It's a question that humankind has been asking
ever since the domestication of dogs.


Why do dogs tangle with ......

?

And why do they never learn their lesson?

I am sure that my dogs believe the bath that they must endure after a skunking
is far worse than the skunk spray.
They seem to wear skunk spray like a badge of honor.
It certainly is not a deterrent.
(But then, neither is the ensuing bath a deterrent.)

Well, you guessed it...
it's skunk season again here on the farm.
Could we actually get through a year without a skunking?
Not bloody likely.

Last evening at 9 PM I removed Annie's "good girl" collar
(don't ask me why I took the collar off first....but I won't do that again!)
and sent her out for her bedtime potty break along with Sam and Oakley.
Five minutes later I went to the door and called them.

Nothing.

Called. Called. Called.
And one thing you should know about me...
I am a human megaphone.
I seriously have never heard anyone who can call louder than I can.
(Maybe that's why I never made it on the cheering squad... I am way too loud!)
It's my special gift.

I called...and I could hear my voice echo through our little valley.
(I am sure everyone within 5 miles could hear me as...

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Makeover Season

Spring is just around the corner and the excitement is in the air!
A whole lot of garden work was completed yesterday.
One more day of work should have all of the garden boxes built and filled.
As you can see, there are several long boxes and then this 5 box configuration 
in the midst.
Each horizontal row of two boxes is terraced into the side of this gentle slope.


There will be a total of eighteen  3 by 12 foot boxes laid out in two lines
with the 3 by 3 foot (times 5 box) configurations (two of them)
in each row.
In these smaller square boxes I will plant herbs and flowers.



Once the boxes are complete and warmer weather has arrived,
we will be planting grass around and between all of the boxes.
Mowing is so much easier than weeding!!

Each passing day has me more and more excited to start digging in the dirt again.

Meanwhile, the donkey girls have a whole week of Fat Camp under their belts.


Surprisingly, Daphne's hips are beginning to show once more.
Daphne has always been our chubby donkey.
I think she's starting to look a little more svelte (from some angles).


Their daily regimen includes soaked hay in a slow-feed bag
and regular exercise sessions.


Time in the pasture is done with grazing...

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Daffodils, Blue Skies and Garden Boxes

Don't let the blue sky and the emerging daffodils fool you...
(Yes, that's Sam's snooty pose.)


it was a mere 10 degrees as we did morning chores yesterday.
That's quite a bit colder than what we experience the past few weeks...
with highs reaching near 70 degrees.
I was sure winter was over.


But Winter is like that.
He loves to make you think he's left you...
and all of a sudden "BAM!" he hits you right between the eyes
with a blast of bone chilling air!


We even had snow squalls on Friday that produced complete white-outs!
Crazy.
And yet... the day lilies are up in the front pasture... seemingly untouched by the cold.


No lamenting, though...
it is to get warm again this week.


And that's a good thing, too...
because the garden project is under way.... 
and should be completed this week.


These garden boxes are made from your old milk jugs.
They are built from planks of HDPE... that will last a lifetime.
(at least my lifetime!)


Once the weather is warmer, I will top each box off with a mix of 
compost and topsoil.
And then the fun begins!!

We had a perfectly lovely weekend...
just the right mix of activity


 and rest!


We are ready to take on another week!
After all... spring is just two weeks away!
Can you...

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Wrapping Up a Full Weekend

What a full and wonderful weekend we had.
When we last chatted, the farm looked like this...


by Friday it looked like this...


and there is a bigger storm on the way tomorrow!
Geesh.
Perhaps Winter didn't get the memo...
he was to move out and be gone a few weeks ago (says me)!


Saturday morning I arose, did morning chores


showered and painted my toes...


After preparing breakfast...  spinach/bacon quiche, fresh pineapple,
and these luscious chocolate donuts with chocolate ganache and peanuts...


I sat in front of the fire and worked on my latest knitting project.
(This one's going to take a while.)


Then we headed out to the woods to take care of the weather "leftovers"
from this past week.
(I forgot to mention that Amanda and Tim were home for the weekend.)


The tent roof needed snow removal...


and there were 2 huge trees down across the trail through the woods.


The four of us worked together... 


making clean up go quite quickly.


We spent the evening at a local micro-brewery with some of our kids and their friends.
Fun!

Then Sunday after farm breakfast and chores,
we drove to Philadelphia to see Cirque Du Soleil's show "Toruk."


Amazing!


Magical!
We were transported to the world of James Cameron's Avatar.

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Friday Farm Fotos: Bad Girl

It was getting dark and someone was missing; one large red hen with a pair of big yellow feet and an attitude to match. I looked up and down and in every nook and cranny with my flashlight there was no sign of her. The only clue was a red tail feather I found in the grass near the barn, and that is never a good sign. Most of the time if there has been a predator attack there is more than one feather on the ground, so that made me think she could still be out there somewhere, but as darkness fell and my batteries started getting weak, hope of finding her alive faded with my flashlight. 

I was sad.... I never like to lose any of my birds.....


Morning came. It was unusually foggy.... I didn't think it would ever get daylight. I had just poured a cup of coffee and was staring out the kitchen window, when....



I saw her.


Meandering across the back yard, looking over her shoulder as if she was hoping nobody would see her sneaking back to the chicken coop before dawn. My heart was happy!
But then, I chuckled...
At the thought that her hiney was safe but her reputation was ruined.... :)

Happy Friday!


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Friday Farm Fotos: Random Birds

Lily enjoys the autumn sunshine.



Well, the hummingbirds have finally moved on... *sniff*... the last time I saw one was on Tuesday, and I'm pretty sure the cool nights this week have alerted them to the fact that it is time to go south. I will leave the feeders up for a couple more weeks in case some more pass through and need a drink. I'll miss them and their chatty little squeaks, but I'll still have lots of company at the seed and suet feeders to make me smile. Here are some of the different birds that visit on regular basis and will continue to do so through the winter.




Next to the hummers, I have to say that the nuthatch is near the top of my list of favorite birds. 
Their acrobatic moves amaze me, and I love their quirky little raspy call.




And of course, bluebirds always make me smile.....




Blue Jays are noisy birds, but I like having them around. 
They are beneficial when you have chickens in that they will alert you when danger is around, such as a hawk or a cat.




We have an abundance of male and female red birds (cardinals) that feed every morning at the sunflower feeders.





Doves are also plentiful, and since they are too big to perch on the feeders I scatter a little bit of seed...

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Friday Farm Fotos: Is that Fall I see?


It's still a little early yet to say Fall is here in all its glory, but it is definitely in the air.
Cooler days and even cooler nights have arrived, and all the creatures around here (including me!) are breathing a sigh of relief that the summer heat is finally over. It's always amazed me how the earth seems to undergo so many changes this time of year, and how the animals just seem to know what to do to prepare for the winter ahead.




We still have hummers visiting the feeders; just not as many as a couple of weeks ago. 
I know they are preparing for their long journey southward, 
and I always feel sad when they leave.
Godspeed, little one.... I wish you safe travels when it's time for you to go....




My vitex is starting to lose its blooms, 
but there are a few creatures still enjoying what little bit of goodness they can get from it.





For the entire summer I've had a doe feeding along side the fence around our pasture, and she has become quite attached to the sheep. And likewise, they have grown accustomed to her daily visits, and will actually come out of the barn and walk to the fence to "greet" her. I'm not sure if she feels there is safety in numbers, or if she is just curious about...

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A Dream Come True


Time sure flies... it's hard for me to believe that we've been living in our home for 8 years now.
All this time I have longed for my very own sewing/craft room. I'm certainly not complaining, because most of the time I've been fortunate to have a room with my sewing machine set up and ready to sew, but the spare bedroom it was in has always been shared with lots of other stuff- a kind of "catch-all" room; things that we didn't have space in the closet for and didn't want to throw away found their way into this room, at one point even a huge treadmill and stereo with CD collection were crammed in there as well.


A couple of months ago Hubby told me he would build some wall cabinets for me and help me paint, and my new sewing room would be ready just in time for my birthday. (Yep, I think I'll keep him. *swoon*)
So, after some planning and several trips to the local Goodwill with old clothes and what-nots, the room was cleaned out. The walls were painted and the cabinets started going up....


And now my dream has come true.
Here are the before and after pictures~



The "before" was a mess of this and that with no place to put anything, 
but now I have a place for my computer and large work...

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Friday Farm Fotos: Fog Ice


It's 8:00 a.m. and 20 degrees~ and a thick fog rolls in.




 Strange icy formations start to appear.
























Ice forms on everything.... even the fence.







The coating looks almost fuzzy.







Lily is unimpressed with the fuzzy fence.
She has done her business (which probably has ice on it, too) and now she is ready to go back inside.








Edie, who loves the cold weather, thinks foggy fence ice is delicious.








Daisy thinks it is delightful! :)



Happy Friday!!!

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Autumn Scenes and Other Things



December.
I have to say it out loud and let it soak in for a minute before I can grasp that it is already December.
*Sigh*



It begins the season of no pasture for the sheep, with the exception of a green sprig here and there.





And the start of unexpected winter weather, like this snow the week of Thanksgiving.




Fall was pretty this year... Lily took time to pose in front of some leaves for me.



This time of year there aren't many outdoor chores to do, 
so I keep busy indoors where it's warm.
Mostly sewing..... 

I made a few things on my embroidery machine for our little nieces, who are 5 and 2~
a couple of trick or treat bags for Halloween:


And some Thanksgiving shirts, too.




We took our yearly trip to the apple orchard for my birthday in October....




Also for my birthday~ I finally got the sewing studio of my dreams; complete with robin-egg blue paint on the walls and brand new cabinets made by Hubby. *squeal*


I'll save the pictures and details for next time. ;)



Oh, and I went to market and bought a piggy.... 


Happy Tuesday!

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Happy Thanksgiving....


Hubby and I and the critters are still alive and kicking and all is well.
And thanks to those of you who have checked in on me.
After an unexpected blog break, I will be back next week with some updates. I promise.
Until then.... have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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Three and a Big Surprise

Lily loves our mail lady.
Probably because every time she comes up the hill, she has a package for Lily.

This time it was from one of my dearest friends in another state.....


There were two sweet cards inside~ one for Lily, and another one for... Lily's Birthday!!


Yes, you heard me~ its all yours.



The box was pre-inspected.


Each gift and the adorable wrapping paper were also pre-inspected. *Sigh*


Apparently this one met approval even before it was unwrapped. :)


Treats....


 Treats.....


Treats!!! *YUMMY*



I told her to smile for the camera, Angie~ this is what I got. 

And that smile says "Thank you."  





So, how did she spend her 3rd Birthday?





Uh, lets just say it was.... uneventful.  ;)







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A long time coming....

So much time has gone by.... where do I start? If anyone is still out there, I'll just say for the record that although I've been away from my blog for what seems like forever... I never forgot about it- or all my blog friends either.
I'll try to give an update on what's been going on around the Fraker Farm for the past year... I almost always talked to my dad several times a week, and in February of 2016 I had tried to call my dad for a couple of days but he never answered his phone. It was not unusual for him to not to answer on the first few tries because sometimes he just didn't hear the phone ring or he was outside when I called, but he always called me back after seeing my number on his caller ID. When he didn't return my calls, I started to worry. I drove to his house to check on him the next morning (I live almost an hour away) and found him on the floor. He had been there for at least 24-36 hours, judging by the condition of his clothes. He was alive, but very disoriented and dehydrated. It was terribly sad to see him in that condition....
After a week in the hospital and another two weeks at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville, my husband and I brought him...

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Final Farm Fotos of 2013: A Look Back


Since this is the last Friday of 2013, I thought it would be fitting to take a look back at the farmy highlights from this past year. Last Christmas Hubby gave me a brand new camera and I didn't realize just how many pictures I'd taken with it until I went back into my archives. I ended up spending a couple of hours just looking through them all, enjoying the change in the seasons through the lens of my camera.







Lots of spring rains brought the pasture out early, and the sheep couldn't wait to start chowing down after eating dry hay all winter. This picture was from April and the wildflowers were popping up everywhere. That was perfectly fine with the sheep, they just ate them too. :)
















Speaking of the sheep, they made it through 2013 very well, with the exception of me getting a late start on shearing them. Poor Tiny had to suffer through the humiliation having his wool halfway off when the clippers fell apart in my hand. The job was soon finished once the clippers were fixed, but I'm sure he was not happy about the other sheep laughing at his half-done hairdo.
(Which I have no doubt they did.)


















Also in the spring~ fuzzy bottoms were hatched. *squeeeeeal*



















Summer of 2013 will be...

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Christmas Eve Preparations




Christmas Eve is here and my day will be filled with baking and some last minute gift-wrapping while waiting for Hubby to get home from work. The utility company he works for lets them off a half-day with a full days' pay, so he doesn't mind having to go in for just a few hours. :) Once he gets home, we will be traveling to spend time with family, then on the road again tomorrow.





I made a big batch of hot tamales for my family get-together... I've been asked before if this is some way we celebrate a family heritage and the answer is no~ it simply started many years ago when my mom and her two sisters wanted a break from the usual holiday ham and turkey, so they started making huge pots of chili with cornbread and hot tamales and the tradition has continued for over 30 years. As you can see in the background, the food inspector approves. :)




Speaking of Lily, she got a new sweater for Christmas.



And to all who read this blog: 
A wish for a safe Holiday season along with much love from all of us here on the Fraker Farm~ 
Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!


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